Category Archives: Land and Sustainable Development
Around 50 government agencies, CSOs and NGOs, and business organizations signed the Philippine Earth Day 2016 Covenant in celebration of the International Earth Day on 22 April 2016. More than 250 participants gathered in this event spearheaded by the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP) to support the Covenant signing and the launching of the “Trees for the Earth” Campaign.
The Covenant sets points on pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 ⁰C above pre-industrial levels; encouraging the formulation of a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) resulting from various multistakeholder consultations; participation in the formulation of the NDC; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and contributing in the planting of the 7.8 billion trees in support of the five major goals of the International Earth Day Movement.
The 2016 celebration also coincides with the Paris Agreement Signing Ceremony held at the UN Headquarters in New York where more than 170 countries, including the Philippines as represented by DENR Secretary Ramon Paje, agreed to work to limit the global temperature rise to well below 2 ⁰C, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 ⁰C.
ANGOC is one of the CSOs signed to commit efforts set by the Covenant.
We are sharing this article contributed by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).
Climate change impacts will disproportionately fall on tropical regions and particularly on the most vulnerable and marginalized population groups. Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change due to its geographic location, and people of the coastal area especially south and south-western parts are in the most vulnerable position. While life and livelihood depends on agriculture, food security is in peril due to the impact of climate change.
Hence, ALRD and partners organized a round table discussion, “Land Rights of Poor and Marginalized: Impact of Climate Change on Food Security” on 16 November.
People of disaster prone costal belt in Bangladesh are basically poor and landless. They live with the harsh reality of river erosion, severe cyclone, flood, water logging, salinity intrusion etc. Socio-economically underprivileged char lands (fringe land) people are mostly landless and living below the poverty line. Though several initiatives have been taken by the government, non-governmental organization and civil society, these were not sufficient in contrast of their sufferings.
Panel discussants argued that despite being a self-sufficient country in food production, equal access to food is an issue. Char people do not have their own land and hence they should get access to Khas land (government land) so that their food security could be ensured. They also raised that social development activities should be taken by both the government and NGOs in a coordinated manner so that the living standard of char people could be improved. To ensure proper utilization of local resources settlement of all absentee land, water bodies, canals and rivers should be given to the landless char people in accordance to the existing laws and policies. At the same time, Land grabbing by powerful vested interest group should be prevented. Thus, local administration should play a vital role.
Finally, they opined that government and the people should take the key responsibilities regarding climate change and food security.
ANGOC and PDF-SRD convene Philippine conference on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure (VGGT)
Quezon City, Philippines — While the Philippines has a strong policy framework and sound general principles on tenure rights consistent with the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of Food Security (VGGT), resource rights policies are highly fragmented and sectoral, hence the conflicts in their implementation.
This is one of the major findings shared during the national conference on “Resource Rights at Stake: Realizing Responsible Governance of Resource Tenure in the context of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure” last March 20, 2014 at the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils and Water Management Conference Hall in Quezon City, Philippines. More than 120 participants from various government agencies, academe, civil society organizations and international donor agencies attended the conference.
This culminates a year-long initiative by the Philippine Development Forum Sustainable Rural Development sub-working group (PDF-SRD), together with the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) and the National Convergence Initiative (NCI), to assess Philippine policies on tenurial security vis-à-vis the VGGT of the Committee on World Food Security.
The conference imparted the highlights of three studies on applying the global voluntary in improving the Philippine policy environment related to tenure security and resource governance. ANGOC conducted three studies on the VGGT and 1) current Philippine policies; 2) the National Land Use Act, and 3) responsible agricultural investments (rai). ANGOC Chairperson Antonio B. Quizon presented the consolidated results from the three studies at the meeting.
Mr. Quizon pointed out the interconnected relationships between land, fisheries and forests and their uses as well as the need for an integrated approach in their administration. His major observations are:
First, unlike some Asian countries that have a comprehensive and consolidated Land Law or a Land Code, tenure governance in the Philippines today is founded on numerous legislations that define the policy, legal and organizational frameworks related to tenure and governance of land, forests and fisheries.
Secondly, while new laws or amendments are continually being passed by the legislature, the old laws are often not repealed. Sections of old laws are merely superseded, replaced or amended by the new laws, and this system allows the old laws to retain their residual validity in whole or in part. The overall result is a complex system of legal jurisprudence that often only lawyers can navigate.
Thirdly, the country has taken on a highly sectoral approach to land/ resource policy, tenure reforms, and land/ resource administration. There is CARP/ER for agrarian reform covering public A&D and private agricultural lands, Fisheries Code covering municipal waters, and IPRA for ancestral domains. In addition, there is the Mining Act, NIPAS, Forestry Code, and others.
Finally, climate change adaptation and disaster response policies in the Philippines are silent on the protection or restitution of resource and tenure rights post-calamities. Policy should address the tenure rights of people likely to be or have been affected by climate change, as well as of host communities in cases of resettlement, especially with respect to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.
The participants also identified recommended action areas and next steps. Some proposals are to assess the effectiveness of existing tenurial instruments, review and harmonize overlapping policies including fisheries and water rights, push for the passage of the National Land Use Act (NLUA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), promote people-centered principles for responsible agricultural investments, and ensure the security and protection of people’s tenure rights affected by climate change. #
Climate change and natural disasters threaten land tenure in Asia and can even deal “heavy blows” to smallholders, according to a loose coalition of civil society groups pushing for land reform in the region.
“Reactive ways of dealing with natural hazards and climate change will no longer work: it is imperative for communities to develop resilience in terms of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” said NGOs under the Land Watch Asia campaign in a paper examining the struggle for land rights in the region.
Climate change and hazards demand new ways of approaching land rights, the group said, noting impacts on agriculture, migration and land use. The impact of climate change and disasters on land tenure is an emerging issue, the group said.
Land Watch Asia is a regional campaign made up of 17 NGOs and People’s Movements from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka all working to improve access to land and natural resources of the rural poor through policy reform and capacity building. It is convened in Asia by the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC).
“Rainfall patterns and temperatures are becoming more variable and extreme. Rains do not come as expected; or when they do it is at extremely high levels. Farmers are noticing changes in water availability, water levels and temperature, which can have adverse effects on cropping patters and crop growth,” the group said. Soil quality and water availability are also affected. Read the rest of this entry
At the Nexus of Agrofuels, Land Grabs and Hunger – Part 1
By Kanya D’Almeida
WASHINGTON, Dec 6, 2011 (IPS) – While the United Nations climate talks in Durban enter their ninth day of political feet-dragging, researchers and peasants around the world are busy connecting the dots between so- called “green climate solutions”, industrialised agriculture and chronic hunger.
New research released Tuesday by the U.S.-based Oakland Institute (OI) reveals the nexus between “false” fuel alternatives such as the development of agrofuels and agroforests and the massive land grab underway in Africa that is stripping thousands of peasants of their land and means of subsistence.
The research cites the hypocrisy of major industrialised actors like the U.S. and the European Union, as well the World Bank Group (WBG) and other development agencies for pouring money into assisting victims of famine and natural disasters, all the while making massive investments in schemes that heat the earth and stifle local development.
Industrial agriculture and biofuels: neither clean nor green
Industrialised agricultural practices currently produce 13.5 percent of all green house gas emissions, mostly methane and nitrous oxide. The latter is emitted in huge doses through the spraying of fertiliser, which is used 800 times more frequently today than it was 100 years ago.
The production of fertilisers themselves requires the burning up of fossil fuels, emitting up to 41 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Posted on 05 December 2011 by admin
Durban, 5 Dec. — Negotiators at the 17th Conference of Parties owe it to the world’s more than seven billion people to deliver a deal with a work plan for agriculture, a sector that is expected to be the worst affected by climate change.
Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO of Food Agriculture Natural Resources Policy Advocacy Network told participants at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day (ARRD) event on the sidelines of COP 17 that what was need was a work programme for agriculture. She said she hoped that South Africa’s minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat Patterson would take up the cause.
“We believe she will send the message to the right messenger to make sure we deliver a deal that will talk to farmers, the private sector and everybody who needs food to survive,” Sibanda said.
On behalf of a grouping of agriculture and advocacy organisations, Sibanda presented an open letter to Patterson calling for the inclusion of agriculture as an adaptation approach in the text to be agreed on by climate change negotiators. The groups have warned that COP 17 should be the show time for agriculture, which has been repeatedly taken off the agenda in two previous climate change negotiations.
“The turnout for COP 17 has been overwhelming and we believe we are on the right track,” said Sibanda. “This is a sign of commitment and sign of more ambassadors for our message that we are presenting to the minister to take to the boys and girls upstairs.”
From Business Insight MALAYA (online), June 14, 2010
By Paul M. Icamina
LOS BANOS – Transnational “land grabbing” has become a global concern, prompting organizers of the world’s largest conference on the rice industry this year to place it on the agenda.
Among the topics during the 3rd International Rice Congress, slated in Hanoi from November 8 to12, are the latest in rice research, future technologies, trade issues and policies that define the cereal’s role in supporting poor rice-dependent communities.
The conference, the first time that the “land grabbing” issue will be addressed in a high-level meeting attended by 17 agricultural ministers, will be convened by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Recent interest in “land grabs,” or the trans-border acquisition of land to produce rice, is sparked by a looming threat of inadequate rice supplies as many countries do not have the capacity to grow enough rice on their own land to meet existing or anticipated demand, IRRI says. (More)
Remembering the Three Rio Conventions
By Ramesh Jaura
BERLIN (IDN) – The botched UN conference in Copenhagen may prove to be a blessing in disguise by way of correcting the imbalance that has favoured climate change but nearly ignored desertification and biodiversity that are two other centerpieces of the three ‘Rio Conventions’ emerging from the Earth Summit in June 1992.
A closer inter-action between the three Conventions may in fact liberate the new Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, from much of the pressure that apparently crushed Yvo de Boer and culminated in his decision to quit the job. (Click link for more)